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From a police perspective: Be aware if you are going on holiday

This issue, Sgt David Lonsdale warns you to remember home security when you go on holiday this summer. Imagine that you have returned home after a fantastic holiday to discover your home has been burgled – this is not something the police want anyone to have to go through.

Just because you are going on holiday it doesn’t mean burglars are taking time off too and if it looks like you are away then your home could become a target. We are urging everyone to check their home security before they go away and ensure their holiday is one to remember for the right reasons.

Follow our simple tips to secure your home against burglars:

• Make sure your windows and doors are locked. If you have a burglar alarm, turn it on and leave the key or passcode with a family member or trusted neighbour.

• Remove and secure items that may be used to break in or climb into your home and lock any outbuildings so burglars can’t use the tools inside.

• Use automatic timer switches to turn on lights and perhaps a radio when it gets dark.

• Ask a trusted neighbour or family member to come round and open and close curtains and move any post so it looks like people are coming and going at your home.

• Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries.

• Don’t advertise that you are away. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a risk if people know you are away and your home is empty.

• Work with your neighbours to keep an eye on each other’s homes. Neighbourhood Watch and Neighbourhood Networks encourage this type of community spirit and long term it may be worth joining one or setting one up in your street. For details visit: www.ourwatch.org.uk or contact your local policing team.

• Never leave keys anywhere near the front door – burglars know where to look. Consider fitting a letterbox cage or other restrictor to prevent burglars from putting their hands or gadgets through and opening the latches from the inside.

The public should call the police if they see people acting suspiciously in their community, if there is a burglary in progress or if they have details about those involved in criminality. This can be done using 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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